Psalm 2:12 and Proverbs 31 ben/bar

Ben and Jo Crick ben.crick at
Fri Mar 22 18:03:37 EST 2002

On Fri 22 Mar 2002 (00:44:32), polycarp66 at wrote:
> Now that makes sense.  The RSV and NRSV translate "kiss his feet", but
> that  requires emending the text from BR to RGLYW.  Maintaining the
> consonantal  text is always preferable.  In the oldest manuscripts the
> letters were not  always separated (in fact, as I recall, they usually
> weren't).  Liz, could  you cite some more of Dahood's translation for
> context?  I'm afraid I left  most of my books in storage.

 Emendation is always the last resort of the despairing. When in doubt,
 reach for the scissors and paste. However, in Psalm 2:11b-12a there is a
 certain attraction to the emendation proposed IIRC by Kittel. Move GiYLuW
 from its place as the penultimate word in verse 11 to immediately follow
 the enigmatic BaR at the beginning of verse 12. So we get
 (11) `iB:DuW 'eT-YHWH BiR:'aH  uWBiR:`aDaH
 (12) Na&&:QuW-B:RaG:LaYW ...

 With /enjambement sur la ligne/ we get the sense "Serve YHWH with reverence
 and with trembling kiss his feet...".

 The rendering "Rejoice with trembling" always caused me difficulty. But
 the proposed emendation removes the difficult BaR, and makes good sense of
 the text too. The word "son" in verse 7 is BeN (B:NiY). The newly crowned
 king is adopted as "son" of God to be the theocratic ruler over His people
 Israel. Submit to his rule ("kiss his feet") to evade the wrath of God at
 the hands of His king.

 That seems to have been the path taken by RSV and NRSV. But as you say,
 maintaining the consonantal text is preferable.

 Revd Ben Crick BA CF, and Mrs Joanna (Goodwin) Crick
 <ben.crick at>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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